Mein Stern by Valeska Grisebach © AFC Austrian Films

Tue, 05/14/2019


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GOETHE FILMS: Past Forward — Directors before Cannes

Presented by the Goethe-Institut

What did Maren Ade do before her Oscar-nominated absurdist comedy-drama TONI ERDMANN? Which film was Valeska Grisebach successful with before WESTERN took global cinemas by storm? Where was Ulrich Köhler before IN MY ROOM? GOETHE FILMS shows you three German directors on the road to Cannes.

BERLINO (Germany, 1999, 26 min) by Valeska Grisebach, a moving documentary about displacement, set on a Berlin building site.
BE MY STAR (Germany, Austria, 2001, 65 min) by Valeska Grisebach, with Nicole Gläser, Christopher Schöps

FIPRESCI Critics Award - Special Mention, Toronto International Film Festival 2001
Grand Jury Award - Best Feature Film, Torino Film Festival 2001
First Steps Awards 2001

Valeska Grisebach was at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 with WESTERN.

BE MY STAR follows 14-year-old Nicole, who senses that something important will soon happen in her life. This expectation becomes reality when she meets Christopher, a boy of the same age. He is one of the celebrities of the neighborhood. The fact that Nicole's mother is working nights presents the perfect opportunity: Her parents' apartment is available as a stage on which Christopher and Nicole play husband and wife. They attempt to realize the ideas of love they have formed by observing adults. But things are not as simple as they seem.

"An achingly well-observed study of the pains, embarrassments and comic snafus of early teen sexuality, BE MY STAR is a stellar short feature from documaker Valeska Grisebach that portends a promising future for her in the fiction arena as well." - Variety

"An unexpectedly fresh, unsentimental take on first love is delicately yet forcefully presented in this slip of a film." - Chicago Reader

Valeska Grisebach, born in 1968, studied Philosophy and German Studies in Berlin, Munich and Vienna. In 1993 she began studying at the Viennese Film Academy, where she shot her graduation film BE MY STAR. Her third feature film WESTERN had its premiere at the Un Certain Regard section of the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival 2017 and celebrated extraordinary international success. Grisebach holds 19 awards for only three feature films.

The Berlin production company Komplizen Film focuses on the development of feature films, international and high-end series. It stands behind numerous filmmakers such as Maren Ade, Ulrich Köhler and Valeska Grisebach, but also emerging artists like Xaver Böhm, who presented his debut film O BEAUTIFUL NIGHT at the Berlinale 2019. Komplizen Film produces local films for an international audience, films that take risks. They work with filmmakers distinguished by a unique signature and believe in long-term cooperation with directors.

All GOETHE FILMS are open to audiences 18+.

Part of the Goethe-Institut's focus on German film.

Other films of this series: